26 July 2007
FREEMAN DIFFERENCE REAPS REWARDS
A unique Australian wine, the Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003, an Italian-style Amarone-inspired savoury red wine from the cool Hilltops region in New South Wales, is garnering attention and accolades.
The just-released The Wine Front Red Album, a review of 4000 red wines published by passionate wine palate and author Campbell Mattinson, ranks the Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003 in its Top 101 Wines and singles it out as the Winner of the Best ‘New Style’ Aussie Red. The acknowledgement is particularly significant given that the wine is only the second vintage made by Dr Brian Freeman, previously professor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University.
The award is especially timely as the wine has recently been selected by Qantas Airlines and will shortly be offered to Business Class travellers as part of Qantas’ enhanced wine service program and commitment to showcase top-quality wines from smaller producers.
‘Stepping outside the mainstream is both a risk and a challenge to both winemakers and wine lovers – so it is very gratifying to see how powerfully the Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003 has been embraced by both adventurous wine drinkers and specialist trade buyers,’ commented Brian Freeman.
‘It was always my intention to emulate the savoury palate of Italy’s highly prized Amarone-style wines that derive complexity from the addition of partially dried grapes. What amazes me, is the similarity of my wine to the Italian wines that inspired it.’
Curiously both the Verona region in northern Italy where rondinella and corvina are predominantly planted, and the Hilltops region near Young, home of Freeman Vineyards, are both renowned for cherries. Notes of spicy, dried cherries are also a characteristic of the wine.
Earlier this year the Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003 won the Ted Radke Trophy for ‘Best Lesser Recognised Varieties’ at the 2007 Sydney Wine International Competition.
Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003 is crafted from a blend of both varieties, a portion of which is dried in a solar-powered prune dehydrator. The dried grapes are co-fermented with the gently crushed, handpicked fruit and aged in old oak barriques, prior to release with four years maturity.
Established in 1999 the vineyard has the only plantings in Australia of the two red grapes traditionally used in Amarone and Valpolicella. They were propagated from just six cuttings of each variety sourced from a viticultural research collection.
Freeman Rondinella Corvina 2003 is available from the winery and selected wine stockists nationally (RRP $35, six-pack format). The Wine Front Red Album (RRP $27.95) is available from www.winefront.com.au
Note: Electronic images available on request.
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